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First time farmers in Ayrshire and Stirling have been awarded the tenancies of Forestry Commission Scotland’s newest starter farms.
The initiative is designed to help young farmers get a first step into the agricultural industry.
Having won through against strong competition, the new tenants are being given a 10 year lease to establish their own farm business on the national forest estate. Both agreements start on 1st October.
Michael and Fiona Burns and their young family will be the starter farm tenants in Glenside Farm, Kirkmichael, Ayrshire.
Mark Donald and Harriet Smith will be the new entrants to Rhynaclach Farm in Port Menteith, Stirling.
Welcoming the new entrants, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
“It is a difficult time for many young farmers who are looking for their first proper foothold into the farming sector.
“I’m delighted that Forestry Commission Scotland is helping make this a reality for some young farmers who are very keen to start their careers.
“New talent is the lifeblood of any industry and it’s good to see more integration between forestry and farming through the starter farm initiative.
“I wish the new tenants every success for the future.”
Glenside starter farm is around 65 hectares in size and the Burns plan to start up a beef and sheep farming unit. Further rough grazing land will be made available to the new tenants to allow their business to grow.
Rhynaclach will comprise a 68 hectare farm and Mark and Fiona plan to build up their sheep farming business and utilise some good quality land close to the farmhouse.
To date, Forestry Commission Scotland has introduced seven new starter farms to tenants across Scotland. Further starter farm units are currently being explored in Aberdeenshire and Tayside.
Notes to news editors
1. For profiles of the new tenants please get in touch using the number at the end of this news release.
2. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment & Forestry Directorate www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland.
3. For news, events and recreation information log on to www.facebook.com/enjoyscotlandsforests. For Twitter: www.twitter.com/fcscotland
4. Tha FCS ag obair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridh coilltearachd Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus a' riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìonadh, a' cumail smachd air agus a' leudachadh nan coilltean gus buannachdan a thoirt dha coimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidh agus, ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh gnàth-shìde. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
5. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0131 314 6507.